DVD/CD burning .zip: is it more reliable, faster, longer lasting to burn a zip of files rather than the files as a folder

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Is it more reliable, faster, longer lasting to burn to CD/DVD a zip (or a few large zips) of files rather than the files as a folder?

Just thinking if 1000s of small files would not be as efficiently recorded compared with one or a few large zips.

Also, even after the burning program verifies the disc, I also use Beyond Compare to compare the files with those on the disc. Always binary compares as identical but I hear the drive stuttering presumably as the head is being shifted only slightly each time to seek the next file, which leads me to think that its best to make one or more zips and copy those locally to compare. Or is it that burning invidual files to the disc is not as readable which causes the head to stutter.

There aren't any problems, my disc burns are reliable, just thinking more of efficiency and longevity, the discs burn and verify fast enough on my 18x DVD burner.

I'm using ImgBurn mostly. Also used Nero in the past.

I burn whole discs closed, finalised. Not sure which write mode but would think Disc At Once from a temporary cached image made by the burning program would be the most reliable.

Best Answer

Zip would be more efficient. Not only because of compression, but because of how disks are laid out. Every file is a series of blocks. The last block may not be totally full. With a huge zip, you only have one 'last block', but as individual files, each would have a partially empty last block.

Safety wise, zips are more risky. If a single byte fails for an image, you'd probably never notice it. If a single byte fails on a zip, it may corrupt a huge chunk of files in the zip. Remember that optical media does degrade, and a clean burn now doesn't mean you'll never have problems in the future.

My personal call would be individual files. Not only a bit safer, but easier to browse individual files later. You'll forget what's on the disk, and browsing dirs and filenames easier than remembering what the hell 'backup 2010-12-15' actually.

EDIT: Efficiency of compression obviously depends on the files you're compressing. If the files are already compressed (image files, videos, docx files are already compressed) you'll get little additional compression. You'll still get the benefit of fewer "partially filled last blocks"

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